Friday, January 1, 2016

My Reading Life Over Break

Yes, I am addicted to reading and I love it. I have many friends and family make fun of me and say things like, "Oh you are reading again?" or "How can you read so much?" Well truth me told, I really enjoy it. What I really like to do is read books that will get my students excited about reading too. I'm excited to go back to school next week, and book talk some of the books that I've read and continue reading, so I can have more books to talk to them about. I love when I have recommended a book to a student and they come into the classroom and talk to me about the book. It's exciting, and then it gets other students excited about the book too. One book that had many girls in my classroom excited this year was 

This book is my Tamara Ireland Stone and is exceptionally good. Here is brief look into the book from Amazon: If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. 

Seriously if you haven't read this book, it is great and you will be in for a treat.

So over the last week or so I have been reading quite a bit. Right before break began I finished reading the Slated series. I am reading Slated in my 7th grade reading classroom right now as a read aloud. I had to know what was happening in the other two books in the series so I read them right before break. This is a great series and the kids love it and we are finding tons of "Signposts" in our reading to help us to comprehend the book. 

Here is a blurb about the first book in the series from Amazon: Kyla’s memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank, her memories lost forever. She’s been slated. The government claims that she was a terrorist and they are giving her a second chance—if she plays by their rules. But scenes from the past haunt her as she tries to adjust to a new life, family, and school, leaving her unsettled. Who is she really? And if only criminals are meant to be slated, why are so many other teens disappearing? As she and her friend Ben seek answers, Kyla is torn between the need to know more and her instinct for self-preservation.

Another book I finished reading the day before break was Gone by Michael Grant. Another Sci Fi Dystopian fantasy book. This book hooked me!! I can't wait to talk about it either.

A little about this book from Amazon: In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Gone. Except for the young. There are teens, but not one single adult. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened. Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: on your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else. . . .

The first book I read over Christmas break was the 2nd book in the Gone series called "Hunger"
another great book in the series: 
It's been three months since all the adults disappeared. Gone. Food ran out weeks ago and starvation is imminent. Meanwhile, the normal teens have grown resentful of the kids with powers. And when an unthinkable tragedy occurs, chaos descends upon the town. There is no longer right and wrong. Each kid is out for himself and even the good ones turn murderous. But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them.
The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.

My 2nd book read during break was a book Called "Boy 21" by Mathew Quick. 
This was a very good read and I have a few students in mind when I get back to school that may enjoy this: 

Amazon: Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in broken-down Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, his dad works nights, and Finley is left to take care of his disabled grandfather alone. He's always dreamed of getting out someday, but until he can, putting on that number 21 jersey makes everything seem okay.

Russ has just moved to the neighborhood, and the life of this teen basketball phenom has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he won't pick up a basketball, but answers only to the name Boy21--taken from his former jersey number.

As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, a unique friendship may turn out to be the answer they both need.

The 3rd book I read over break was a book called "Willow" by Julia Hoban. This is a book I found on Amazon and thought it looked good so I ordered it. It didn't disappoint. 

A brief blurb about this book from Amazon: 
Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen-year- old Willow's parents drank too much wine and asked her to drive them home. They never made it. Willow lost control of the car and her parents died in the accident. Now she has left behind her old home, friends, and school, and blocks the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when Willow meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is, she begins an intense, life-changing relationship that turns her world upside down.
Told in an arresting, fresh voice, Willow is an unforgettable novel about one girl's struggle to cope with tragedy, and one boy's refusal to give up on her.

The 4th book I read over break was the book called "House Arrest" by K.A. Holt. This was is written in verse about a boy that has gotten into trouble and is on House arrest after stealing to help his mom take care of his sick little brother. I loved the character Timothy. 

Here is a blurb from Amazon: 
Timothy is on probation. It's a strange word—something that happens to other kids, to delinquents, not to kids like him. And yet, he is under house arrest for the next year. He must check in weekly with a probation officer and a therapist, and keep a journal for an entire year. And mostly, he has to stay out of trouble. But when he must take drastic measures to help his struggling family, staying out of trouble proves more difficult than Timothy ever thought it would be. By turns touching and funny, and always original, House Arrest is a middlegrade novel in verse about one boy's path to redemption as he navigates life with a sick brother, a grieving mother, and one tough probation officer.

The next book I read over break was "Vanishing Girls" by Lauren Oliver. Another great book full of mystery that had a plot twist at the end. 

The blurb from Amazon:
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged.

When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

The 6th book I read over break was "All the Rage" by Courtney Summers. This one kept me going the whole way through. A tough topic,  but wow was it good.
Amazon blurb: The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything-friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy's only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn't speak up. Nobody believed her the first time-and they certainly won't now-but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.
With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, Courtney Summers' new novel All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women in a culture that refuses to protect them.

My 7th book during break was another book by Lauren Oliver called "Delirium". This is another Dystopian Sci Fi book. It is set in the future and "LOVE" is against the law. When you turn 18 you have an operation to remove your desire to love. This book was one I couldn't stop reading and it had me hooked from the beginning. I can't wait to read the other two books in the series.

Blurb from Amazon: In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistakes.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

My 8th book that I've read over break is "Taken" by Erin Bowman. Another Dystopian trilogy that was great: 

Blurb from Amazon: Gray Weathersby has grown up expecting to disappear at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. They call it the Heist—and it happens to every boy in Claysoot. His only chance at escape is to climb the Wall that surrounds Claysoot. A climb no one has ever survived . . .

My 9th book over Christmas break is  "Unwind" by Neal Shusterman. Okay now this was really had me on the edge of my seat. Another Dystopian book. 

This book is addicting and I know I will have students wanting to read it. The topic is hard to take, but when you take into account that this is Science Fiction it is okay. Here is the blurb from Amazon: In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called "unwinding." Unwinding ensures that the child's life doesn’t “technically” end by transplanting all the organs in the child's body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound.

Currently, I am reading the 2nd book in the Unwind series called "Unwholly" and hope to finish it before school begins on Monday. Since today is Friday I think I can do it!
Blurb from Amazon: 
Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simltaneously providing much-needed organs for transplanting might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.

Cam is made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds; he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles to find identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.

Well Happy New Years, and happy reading! I hope to read many more books this year in 2016!

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